By RYAN TOLMICH
Count D.C. United as the latest MLS side to find a European counterpart.
D.C. United announced Friday that they have partnered with Premier League side Sunderland in an effort to expand the two sides’ global fan base. Sunderland, which features U.S. Men’s National Team striker Jozy Altidore, finished 14th in the Premier League last season.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to partner with Sunderland AFC and its global fan base,” said D.C. United chief operating officer Tom Hunt. “Through this partnership we look to share best practices on both the technical and commercial side, while also helping Sunderland increase its brand recognition in the nation’s capital and throughout the U.S.”
“Interest in football is growing massively in the USA, and our partnership with D.C. United will provide both clubs with an excellent opportunity to grow and evolve in each other’s market,” added Sunderland commercial director Gary Hutchinson. “This is a major step forward for Sunderland and a really exciting development for us in the U.S. marketplace. We are continually looking at new ways to develop our international profile and our partnership with D.C. United will help us to build closer links with this key territory.”
Here are some more news and notes from around MLS:
ARENA SAYS ‘FORCES IN THE LEAGUE’ PREVENTED DEADLINE DAY MOVE
After being heavily linked to Sacha Kljestan for the past few weeks, the LA Galaxy remained relatively quiet at the MLS transfer deadline.
Head coach Bruce Arena did not say who the team was pursuing, but he did reveal that the Galaxy nearly made a move prior to the deadline’s expiration.
“We came close,” Arena told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “There were just forces in the league that prevented us from doing it. I won’t go into the details, but that’s the reason. Our organization did everything possible to secure a player and unfortunately there were forces fighting really hard to not allow that to happen. Subsequently it didn’t.
“We did everything possible to acquire a player and probably should have been able to do that.”
CREW IN NO RUSH TO SELL DEFENDER GONZALEZ
After a highly successful 2014 World Cup with Costa Rica, Columbus Crew defender Giancarlo Gonzalez has become the subject of plenty of transfer speculation.
Despite interest from English side Fulham, Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter that the team is in no rush to sell the Costa Rican star.
“We had dealings with Fulham and there was an offer and we didn’t accept the offer,” Berhalter said following training on Thursday. “I think they’ve moved on and got another player and it’s done. So I wouldn’t expect that we’d be dealing with them again. Other clubs, I’m sure they’d put offers in.
“When offers come in, we’ll take a look at them,” Berhalter added. “We want to do what’s best for the club. We see a certain value for Giancarlo. And we like him here. So I think our value has to be met before we move further.”
As for the player, Berhalter has insisted that Gonzalez has been easy to work with throughout the always stressful transfer process.
“The thing is, Giancarlo’s been great with this,” Berhalter said. “He’s been level-headed, he’s been focused, and that’s not easy as a player. With all the attention he’s garnered after the World Cup, he’s come back here and just does his work and does his job. He’s a real pro.”
The New York Red Bulls have put Bobby Convey on the trading block but the left back’s high salary is leaving demand for the 31-year-old low. (REPORT)
Chivas USA have signed forward Luis Bolaños on loan from Ecuadorian club LDU Quito. (REPORT)
FC Dallas have signed Paraguayan defender Walter Cabrera on loan for the rest of the season from club General Diaz. (REPORT)
The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Costa Rican centerback Kendall Watson in a full transfer from Deportivo Saprissa. (REPORT)
The MLS All-Star Game reportedly had 862,000 viewers on ESPN2, more than the last two All-Star Games combined. (REPORT)
What do you think of these notes? Like the partnership between D.C. United and Sunderland? Do you agree with Arena’s comments? Do you see Gonzalez leaving the Crew by the end of the month?
Share your thoughts below.